Wiretapping scandal: Tsipras tables censure motion against government

Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras tabled a motion of censure against the conservative government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday afternoon.

Tsipras tabled the motion “in defense of democracy, transparency and justice” one day after he received an official response regarding the confirmed wiretapping of six people – politicians and army leaders – by the head of the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security & Privacy (ADAE) Christos Rammos,

Tsipras had requested information about six key individuals being tracked by the Greek National Intelligence Service (EYP) and with the approval of a relevant prosecutor.

Speaking at the parliament on Wednesday, the leader of SYRIZA read the names of Labor Minister Kostis Chatzidakis; Hellenic National Defense General Staff (HNDSG) Chief, General Konstantinos Floros; the former National Security Advisor Alexandros Diakopoulos; and the former and current heads of the General Directorate for Defense Investments & Armaments (GDDIA), Theodoros Lagios and Aristidis Alexopoulos.

Minister Chatzidakis was reportedly under surveillance for 8 months and the other five for two years.

The main opposition party leader tabled the motion after a highly critical speech against the government and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis about the wiretapping issue. Both “are irrevocably guilty,” he noted, adding that “not only do they have political, but also heavy personal and legal responsibilities.”

Tsipras stressed his conviction that the government and the prime minister should not stay in power “one day longer,” while the fact that the current government is still in power, he said, “is dangerous for democracy, the country’s security and people’s rights, as they turned national security into a field of wiretapping and extortion.”

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Note that PM Mitsotakis took National Intelligence EYP under his supervision with a legislation right after he came into power in July 2019.

Tsipras said during his speech that “ at some point there comes a critical moment when the country, society, the political parties and the citizens are called upon to adopt a clear position, assume their responsibilities and rise to the occasion. We are at this point now.”

He stressed that the country’s fate was in the hands of a government that was not only incompetent and fixated on its own selfish interests but also deeply anti-democratic.

“Greek society has been living in the last six months in a whirlwind of revelations over an inconceivable number of phone tappings. In the vortex of the most extensive and deepest departure from the rules of law the country has seen after 1974,” Tsipras said.

The motion was accepted by the government through state minister Dimitris Gerapetritis as representative of the prime minister who was touring Crete on Wednesday.

The three-day debate started already today, Wednesday, at 6 p.m., is will conclude on midnight Friday with a voting.

Given the majority of votes of ruling New Democracy in the Parliament, the voting outcome is already predictable.

However, the motion move has a more symbolic character as it will set the tune  in the pre-elections campaign of the two biggest political parties.

The debate is expected to be “explosive” as it will coil opposition parties against the government.

Political leaders are scheduled to speak on Friday.

Leader of 3. biggest party PASOK-KINAL Nikos Androulakis, whose phone was tapped by malware Predator, will not be able to participate in the motion debate as he is not member of the Greek parliament but a MEP.

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The government tried to throw mud at ADAE head Rammos for giving the information to Tsipras, even though it is legal. Rammos responded that “the prime Minister never asked an appointment with him.”

The government spokesman even claimed that Rammos was eyeing a political position.

PS Apart from the violation of the Constitution and democratic institutions, how can politicians be elected by citizens, when the reasons of their wiretapping remain a secret? EYP is an agency that surveil people for “national security reasons.”

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